Constance Naden Grave Appeal

£3,240 of £3,000 goal

Raised by 60 people in 14 months
The current state of Constance Naden’s grave is shameful. Its disrepair is indicative of the way women’s lives are so often erased by history – how can an individual who was so well-known and well-respected in her lifetime have been so comprehensively forgotten? 

Naden, a pioneering Victorian thinker whose work spanned poetry, philosophy, science, and politics, deserves a final resting place that celebrates her achievements and restores her place in Birmingham’s dynamic past.

The Constance Naden Trust is raising funds to replace her gravestone. Read ‘Our Story’ below for more information about the life of this pioneering Birmingham woman and the Trust’s £4000 goal.

Our Story
Constance Naden (1858-1889) is one of Birmingham’s most illustrious daughters. Hers was a uniquely interdisciplinary Victorian voice. Naden’s insightful and witty poetry and polemical prose writings regularly drew upon her wide-ranging scientific education at Mason College (now the University of Birmingham) where she was honoured as the first female Associate. A gifted poet, philosopher, and scientific thinker, Naden was at the forefront of women’s intellect progress at the end of the nineteenth century. Her memory and her work live on in the University of Birmingham where the Constance Naden Medal is awarded.

Yet her gravestone and memorial, in the Jewellery Quarter’s Key Hill Cemetery, lie in a sad disarray of broken fragments as can be seen from the photo above. It is clear that it is past the point at which restoration can be undertaken, and a new memorial has to be created.

This renewal of Naden’s grave site is no more than she deserves, cementing her place as a notable Victorian thinker and daughter of Birmingham. To facilitate the replacement of this broken memorial, the Constance Naden Trust has been formed.

The Trust is inviting donations in order to raise the £4,000 needed for this important contribution to Birmingham’s cultural and intellectual history.

Proposed Memorial
The replacement memorial will bear an inscription that contains all of the original text (which also memorialises her mother and grandparents) and provides some additional information about Naden and a line from her poem ‘The Pantheist’s Song of Immortality’ (1881).

See our website for more details.

Contact Details
This appeal is organised by:
Margaret Mary Hall, Naden’s great-niece
Julian Rees, Naden’s great-nephew
Dr Clare Stainthorp , whose book on Naden is forthcoming.
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We are pleased to announce that Naden's new gravestone has been commissioned and the finalised wording has been signed off. It'll still be a while until it is ready to be installed but we're starting to make plans for an unveiling ceremony in Key Hill Cemetery. Watch this space!
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We are excited to announce that the Constance Naden Trust has now surpassed our fundraising target! We'll be going ahead with ordering the replacement gravestone asap. So many thanks to everyone who has shared and donated - we really appreciate all f your support.

Note that this is our revised target of £3000 based on a new stonemasonry quotation. We're planning on putting any surplus donations towards professional cleaning of Naden's memorial bust at Cadbury Research Library at the University of Birmingham.
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There's been some exciting activity in the past week as we've been getting the word out about the grave restoration campaign. It was featured in Carl Chinn's Brummagem magazine as a double page spread. Clare Stainthorp was 'in conversation' talking about Naden's life, works, and legacy at the Birmingham and Midland Institute, and Julian Rees gave a presentation about the campaign at the Birmingham Heritage Forum.
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A very generous donation from the Friends of Key Hill and Warstone Lane Cemeteries has pushed us over the £1000 mark!
We're so excited by the progress of this campaign, but there's still a way to go. Sharing the appeal by word-of-mouth and social media makes the world of difference, so please do continue to support us any way you can.
With thanks and best wishes,
Clare, Julian, and Margaret-Mary
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Read a Previous Update

£3,240 of £3,000 goal

Raised by 60 people in 14 months
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Chris Johnson
7 months ago
College of Arts & Law, University of Birmingham
7 months ago (Offline Donation)
Steve H
7 months ago (Offline Donation)
Berriew Mothers Union
7 months ago (Offline Donation)
Mel Ryan
7 months ago
Michelle Boswell
7 months ago
Grimmitt Trust
7 months ago (Offline Donation)
Mr & Mrs Lovell
8 months ago (Offline Donation)
Diana Cooke
8 months ago (Offline Donation)
S Roberts
8 months ago (Offline Donation)
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